Special EVENt Information

Please note the SW Chief Bicycle+Comedy Fest adventure ride is part of the Explore Las Animas Dirt Series, the others are stand alone events. The Pony Xpress 160 and Branson Hi Lo Country Gravel are independent events. All event logistics, sponsorship, and registration is handled by them, while #thedirtyroads500 x #exoplorelasanimas challenge is designed to be a self supported endeavor.

 
 
  1. SW Chief Bicycle+Comedy Fest - May 4, 2019

 
 

Event Details

Join us for Colorado's newest, unique, destination-comedy experience! The Southwest Chief Bicycle & Comedy Festival is a combination train, bicycle and comedy festival taking place in Trinidad, Colorado May 2-5, 2019!

 Trinidad serves as the center station of Amtrak's Southwest Chief rail line that connects Chicago to Los Angeles by way of Kansas City, Albuquerque, Flagstaff and more. This festival combines the area's cycling, outdoors, and stand-up comedy at relaxing Trinidad venues.

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Route

We start out heading east of Trinidad, following the Purgatoire River before navigating our way towards Hoehne in the Sunflower Valley. Well pass the Santa Fe Trail Crossing point before heading north on county road that run along the Apishipa River. After riding through the rolling hills, arroyos, and canyons, you’ll head north towards the Pueblo County border before turning east back towards the town of Aguilar. Riders will be exposed to abundant wildlife, views of Spanish Peaks, and historic ranches before turning south for the return to Trinidad on a long section of dirt on County Road 75.0 with Fisher’s Peak as the guide.  

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“I used to work with the Telluride Bluegrass Festival, and see the same kind of potential in Trinidad. There’s no skiing obviously, but it has cycling like the mountain and Western Slope towns of Colorado.”

— Wally Wallace, SW Chief Bicycle+Comedy Fest founder

 
 
 

2. #thedirtyroads500 x #explorelasanimas Challenge - May 11-19, 2019

 
 

Ride Details

Come discover southeastern Colorado on your own and take on the 2019 Dirty Roads 500 Strava Challenge. Your time. Your place. Your reasons. Trinidad-Las Animas County is the perfect place to take on the challenge of riding 500 km in 7 days. Pick any of the Explore Las Animas Dirt Series routes, throw in the Pony Xpress 160, and you’ve got a great opportunity to complete the challenge in a relatively undiscovered region with a vast network of dirt roads.

Route

How far can you go?

Cycling friendships, new routes, a passion for the sport, crushing some dirt roads … you name it. The challenge is 500 km in 7 days — with a gravel and dirt road theme!

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3. Pony Xpress 160 - May 18, 2019

 
 

Ride Details

Come discover the challenges Pony Express riders faced in the 1860’s. These earliest American racers speed across remote, desolate regions of America. They had to combine speed, endurance, and mental toughness just to stay alive. While at their physical limits, they had to keep a clear mind, to navigate, to read the weather and to manage their food. If they got into trouble, they had only their own wits and fortitude. So come challenge your ability to think and plan under pressure. Success will require the ability to combine speed, endurance, clear thinking and sheer dogged determination. This ride is a race and part of the Colorado Gravel Grinder Championships.

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Route

The course is made up of gravel county roads that travel northwest Trinidad, Colorado. Each distance has only 10k of blacktop. Unlike Leadville Trail 100 or Rocky Mountain Endurance series,which are loops or out and back, each distance contains mostly new terrain. Course consists of rolling foothills, forests and open plains with views of Fisher Peak. 70% of the course is in tree sheltered or canyon areas that are less susceptible to wind. Roads are open to public vehicle traffic as well as cattle (open range). Early portions of the course travel thru historic mining areas including the nationally recognized  Ludlow memorial. These roads are fine gravel, so lighter tires can be run. All participants must have a GPS, as the course is unmarked .

 
 

4. Branson Hi Lo Country Gravel - September 21, 2019

 
 

Ride Details

Branson is a small town with a big heart in Southeastern Colorado, the last stop before New Mexico. It is not a place you normally pass through. Generally, if you are here, you were born here, went to school here or were invited. Well, this is your invitation! Your invitation to see some stunning country populated by cattle, horses, antelope, deer, elk, bear, and the salty ‘ole ranchers who know this area like the back of their hand.

We think this place is pretty special and thought it would be fun share our love of this place and of biking with others. Simply put, that is how this whole bike ride got off the ground. Sharing the love.

Come visit! You might just be surprised ...

Routes

The three courses provide participants with options, ranging from an entry level 28 miles, a moderate 45 miles, and a full metric century. The two longer courses include one cat three gravel climb, and the short course is 100% gravel. Courses were designed by local Jeff Dilda. Each of the three routes wind their way through prairie and canyon country, taking in views of the Mesa de Maya and Saddlerock Mesa - hi lo country at its finest. A fun feature of this event is gives cyclists the chance to dip in and out of Colorado and New Mexico. If you have never visited this corner of Colorado before, come see what you have been missing. Limited lodging will be available in town. Other weekend destinations worth checking out include Capulin Volcano National Monument and the Comanche National Grasslands Picture Canyon.

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The appeal isn’t so much in what it has as it is in what it doesn’t have. No big city nearby. No crowds, and almost no cars. A small grass-roots event with the locals organizing and supporting riders. Small town American hospitality in the unspoiled canyons of southern CO and northern NM.
— Corrine W.